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Via Della Pace Owners Worry That Without Help, Blast Site Will Be a ‘Ghost Corner’

Marco Ventura and Giovanni Bartocci. (Photo: Lindsay Smith)

Marco Ventura and Giovanni Bartocci. (Photo: Lindsay Smith)

“It’s been a long two and a half weeks,” City Council Member Rosie Mendez said today at a meeting with owners of East Village businesses affected by the gas explosion of March 26. Among those who’ve survived the aftermath of the tragedy are the owners of Italian restaurant Via Della Pace on East 7th Street, just across from the blast site.

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‘We Are Lucky to Be Alive’: East Village Shopkeepers Vent, Ponder Next Steps

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From left, Roop Bring, Mariann Marlowe and Tarun Kundg (Photo: Jaime Cone)

Business owners affected by the Second Avenue gas explosion met Thursday morning, some of them for the first time, at Cafe Mocha, across the street from where three buildings collapsed two weeks ago today. There was talk of struggles with insurance companies, frustration over not being able to reopen, and despair over lost businesses, but many said they feel lucky things didn’t turn out worse.

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This Guy Is On an East Village Armed Robbery Spree, Police Say

769-15 MTN ROB SQD 1The man shown here has netted nearly $3,000 in a string of East Village hold-ups over the past week, the police say. According to authorities, the suspect — thought to be in his forties — enters bodegas and laundromats and displays either a gun or a knife in order to get cashiers to fork over money. Here’s the NYPD’s description of the incidents, all of which occurred in a five-day span within the Ninth Precinct. The most recent one occurred just this morning.
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Cash Mob Aims to Help East Village Blast Zone Businesses Find Their Feet

smallbizcrawlSmall businesses have been hit hard in the wake of the East Village explosion, so residents have conjured up a Small Biz Crawl in order to help. All walks of life are welcome to join the #SaveNYC movement at noon this Saturday, April 11, to visit the beloved establishments most affected by the explosion.

Participants will gather at Gem Spa, which has served the neighborhood since 1957, on the corner of Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, and then head to Himalayan Visions, a family-run shop selling an array of trinkets from jewelry to meditation supplies. A lunch break will follow, at B&H Dairy or Paul’s Da Burger Joint. With full bellies, the group will meander toward New Yorkers Market, to stock up on groceries for the week.

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Explosion Updates: Officials Identify Second Body, Pets Reunited With Owners

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The medical examiner has identified the second body pulled from the rubble of three collapsed buildings as that of Moises Locon, CBS News and other sites report. The 26-year-old busboy had been working 12 hours a day, six days a week at Sushi Park in order to save up money for a return to Guatemala, according to the Wall Street Journal. He planned to return to a girlfriend there, family members told the Times. A coworker told NY1 about his final moments with Locon.

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2nd Ave Businesses Still Reeling From Blast, Despite City’s Efforts

Neighbors, including the owners of Otto's and Beauty Bar, help with Enz's cleanup effort. (Photo: Mariann Marlowe).

Neighbors, including the owners of Otto’s and Beauty Bar, help with Enz’s cleanup effort. (Photo: Mariann Marlowe).

Businesses on the east side of Second Avenue have been allowed to reopen in the wake of the apparent gas explosion that brought down three buildings near East 7th Street, but their neighbors on the other side of the block are still reeling from the disaster.

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Man Shot in East Village Saturday Night

Haven Plaza, near the scene of the shooting. (Photo: Joann Pan)

Haven Plaza, near the scene of the shooting. (Photo: Joann Pan)

A man was rushed to the hospital after he was shot in Alphabet City Saturday night.

The 31-year-old victim was shot in the right hand just after 10:30 p.m. at Szold Place, on East 12th Street between Avenue C and Avenue D, according to the police. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

The investigation is ongoing.

Recent crime statistics show there had been two shootings in the East Village this year.

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Updates On the East Village Explosion, 48 Hours Later

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

A car whose back window was shattered during the incident was moved to Cooper Square. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

It’s been just over 48 hours since an apparent gas explosion rocked 121 Second Avenue, triggering a blaze that brought down three buildings on the corner of Seventh Street. As you can see above, damaged cars have been removed from the scene and search units are currently attempting to find two men who remain unaccounted for. (Here’s a view of that car from the front.) Read on for all the latest.

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How to Help Your Fellow Man (or Cat) in the Wake of the East Village Explosion

get_image.aspIn the wake of yesterday’s building explosion, “people stepped up and helped their fellow New Yorkers and it made a world of difference,” Mayor De Blasio noted in a press conference today. And it’s true: even apartment brokers are being decent and offering their services for free. For those of you looking to help, but without a hotel, car, or dry cleaning business to leverage, here are some options.

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